Sunday, February 15, 2009


I finished this issue a few weeks ago but never got around to writing about it. It got recycled back then but I think I can remember well enough to say a few things about the stories; I'd like to not miss writing about a month of either Asimov's or F&SF this year.

The issue started off with Mary Rosenblum's "Lion Walk," where a mystery arises about girls getting killed on a nature preserve in the near future. Rosenblum is not concerned only with the mystery but where society has gotten to. It's good solid SF.

"Passing Perry Crater Base, Time Uncertain" is a short piece by Larry Niven that was okay but not memorable enough that I can remember anything about it other than my general impression.

Will McIntosh's "Bridesicle," on the other hand, is completely memorable. It's set in (perhaps) the same future as a previous Asimov's story (was it "Midnight Blue?") where people who die can stick around in the consciousness of their offspring. This story goes even further, into a future where the cryogenically-frozen dead can be brought back to life (and maybe to a real body) if they become brides. It's told from the perspective of a prospective "bridesicle" who also happens to be a lesbian. Good stuff.

"Five Thousand Light Years from Birdland" by Robert R. Chase is a solid first contact story in which a member of the translation team is sacrificed by being sent to the alien world, except for the fact that he understands more than the rest. Solid SF.

E. Salih makes his debut with "Messiah Excelsa" but unfortunately doesn't do much for me with a story about time travel and Stradivarius. It wasn't the subject as much as the execution.

Nancy Kress looks at divorce through the lens of a dog who can "talk" in "Unintended Behavior," a sharp little tale that I liked.

Finally, "Uncle Bones" by Damien Broderick focuses on the conspiracy behind a treatment that allows the dead to live, albeit in a way that makes them outcasts from society (as well they would be). It's a fun story (and yes, I know that sounds incongruous but it is).

In all, it's another solid issue of Asimov's...

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